The emphasis on finding a mentor became especially clear to me when I went back to speak at Harvard Business School in the spring of 2011.
I was invited by Dean Nitin Nohria, who joined me onstage and conducted the interview.
His first questions centered on Facebook and what it was like to work for Mark.
I told him that I loved it, except on days when coworkers said things like, "Sheryl, can you look at this?
We need to know what old people will think of this feature."
We discussed the Arab Spring and a slew of other timely topics.
Dean Nohria then asked me a question about women in the workforce.
I'm not sure what possessed me, but I turned to look at the audience, paused, and answered with brutal honesty.
"If current trends continue, fifteen years from today,
about one-third of the women in this audience will be working full-time and almost all of you will be working for the guy you are sitting next to."
Dead silence in the large auditorium.
I continued, "I'm sorry if this sounds harsh or surprises anyone, but this is where we are.
If you want the outcome to be different, you will have to do something about it."
On that strained note, Dean Nohria ended the interview and turned to the audience for a Q&A.
A number of men leapt to the microphone and posed thoughtful, big-picture questions like
"What did you learn at Google that you are applying at Facebook?" and "How do you run a platform company and ensure stability for your developers?"